The Undoing – one of this year’s most anticipated mystery thrillers with some serious star power from our own Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant – is now out on Binge and Foxtel. It’s a six-part series and it comes from the creator of Big Little Lies, David E. Kelley and director, Susanne Bier (The Night Manager).
At the Australian Virtual Premiere of the series last week, Kidman, who was a co-producer as well, said: “I’ve always made thrillers my whole life, and they’re unbelievably hard to make but I love the thriller. So to have something constructed of this magnitude and this complexity around a female character, it’s just such an extraordinary thing. A lot of it is shot right here, so there’s no faking anything it’s got to be felt because it’s all about Grace’s psychological journey.”
The series is based on the novel – You Should Have Known – by Jean Hanff Korelitz. When we’re first introduced to Grace (played by Kidman) and Jonathan (played by Grant) they seem like a happily married couple living in New York’s trendy Upper East Side. When Jonathan walks his son, Henry (played by Noah Jupe) to school, they actually walk through Central Park.
Grace works as a therapist and Jonathan’s a paediatric oncologist so money isn’t really an issue. They live an idyllic life and spend a lot of their time with their son. In the first episode, we see Grace attending a school fundraising meeting and yes, there are shades of Big Little Lies.
For many, The Undoing fills the gap left by the fact Big Little Lies has finished. Some reviewers have said The Undoing is not as tight and well thought out as Big Little Lies but there’s general consensus that Kidman and Grant act their socks off and that’s what keeps you interested in all the twists and turns as the plot unravels.
We watch the school fundraising meeting in the first episode and we’re introduced to the new ‘scholarship mother,’ Elena Alves (played by Matilda De Angelis), when she joins the meeting. Elena is younger and poorer than the other women in the meeting so this sets up a slightly uncomfortable situation.
But it’s the next day when we find out there’s more to this situation than meets the eye. Elena’s dead body is discovered and Jonathan cannot be found, with all of Grace’s frantic phone calls to him going unanswered. We start to get a gist of what The Undoing is all about as Grace’s idyllic life unravels and we don’t know what’s going to happen next.
The brisk pace of The Undoing and the high standard of acting, means you’ll be caught up in the intrigue of everything that’s happening. And yes, the star power of Kidman and Grant definitely keeps this series from descending into melodrama. Kidman gives a strong performance as Grace, anchoring the story. Grant gives one of his best understated and nuanced performances and with this much star power, we’re compelled to keep watching.
You can watch the first episode of The Undoing on Binge and Foxtel now. A new episode will stream each week.